5 Tips to Stay Focused on your art and not on your distractions…
It’s a noisy world these days. How does a creative focus when there are so many distractions. Whether it’s your children needing attention, your phone beeping, social media scrolling, there is always something that can take your eyes off the prize. Whatever the case, it’s getting harder and harder to stay in a creative headspace for an extended period of time without interruption. For myself, it’s especially hard being the dad of a wacky 2 year old but I’ve found a few tricks along the way that have helped me get into the mind set that I need to. Here are my top 5 tips…
START WITH A 10 MINUTE MEDITATION
One of the first things I do when I lock myself into my studio is lay down and listen to a 10 minute guided meditation that I find on Youtube. The simple act of clearing my head keeps me from becoming instantly frazzled and makes me feel refreshed and ready to use my brain in a creative way.
CREATE CREATIVE SESSIONS
One big problems that most creative people experience is “shiny object syndrome” or the feeling like they want to work on the newest fresh idea that pops in their head instead of the idea that they’ve been planning on working on for months. It’s easy to flip from one idea to the next and never actually finish anything. One of the rules I’ve set up is Creative Seasons. A season is a block of time that you pick 2 projects to work on. Why 2? Because if you only have one, you are forcing yourself to work on one thing that you don’t always feel inspired to work on. With 2 you can switch between them over the course of a few months and finally check them off your list before starting a new season. So what happens when a new idea pops in your head that seems more fun and attractive? Add it to a future season and don’t go back to it until you finish the season you are on! Period! You may look at that shiny new idea in a few months time and realize it was never really that great of an idea or even better, over the past few months you’ve subconsciously found ways to make it better than you would’ve if you started it right away.
PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY!!
How do you not turn on your phone and check social media, email, or other apps every 10 minutes while you are trying to create? Simple! Put your phone in another room and set a timer. Make yourself work on your project until the timer goes off and as a reward, you can check your phone for 5 minutes. The simple act of not having the phone there to look at will make a world of difference.
PICK 3 THINGS TO CROSS OFF YOUR LIST
Another trick that I use is every night before I go to bed, I write down 3 things that I want to accomplish the next day. Why only 3? Well, most people create massive to-do lists and feel completely overwhelmed when they aren’t able to make any real dent in their lists. They expect to finish 20 things in a day and when they only do 3, they feel they’ve failed. The truth is, if you can accomplish 3 things in a day that you can cross off your list, then you have made some real progress. So pick the top 3, stick to them, and don’t waiver. You’ll find that in no time, you actually will finish things and feel good crossing them off your list.
SET A TIMER
One other trick that works well for me is to use a timer. I set it for 45 minutes where I will work on the one project that I know I need to focus on. During that 45 minutes, there is no checking my phone, going to websites, or even sneaking into the kitchen for a snack. Instead, when the 45 minute timer goes off, that is when I take a 15 minute break to use the bathroom, get a snack, check my phone, etc. before going into the next 45 minute session. Knowing that there is a timer that is keeping you on task does something to your brain and it really helps you focus when you know there is a time crunch.
I would love to hear if any of these techniques work for you as well or if you have any other tips or tricks for staying focused. Please share them in the comments section. Now, get off this website and go create some art!!